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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal beats Yannick Hanfmann to ease into third round

By BBC
Tennis Rafael Nadal has reached the final five times in Melbourne and won the title in 2009
JAN 19, 2022 LISTEN
Rafael Nadal has reached the final five times in Melbourne and won the title in 2009

Rafael Nadal eased past qualifier Yannick Hanfmann to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

Sixth seed Nadal, bidding for a men's record 21st Grand Slam title, beat Germany's Hanfmann 6-2 6-3 6-4.

Hanfmann saved four match points, including two on the Spaniard's serve, before the 2009 champion secured victory on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal will face either Russian 28th seed Karen Khachanov or Benjamin Bonzi of France next.

Nadal, a five-time finalist in Melbourne, is the only former champion remaining in the men's draw.

He cut short his 2021 season because of a foot injury but has made a strong return, winning his first tournament back in the build-up to the Australian Open.

He created 16 breakpoint chances against the German, converting four of them, and hit 30 winners on his way to victory.

When asked about staying fit, Nadal joked: "I play some golf - I have never been a gym guy."

Spain's 19th seed Pablo Carreno Busta battled past Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-4, while teenage compatriot Carlos Alcaraz beat Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-1 7-5.

Alcaraz will play Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini after the Italian overcame American Stefan Kozlov 6-1 4-6 6-4 6-1.

Canadian 14th seed Denis Shapovalov had to fight for over four hours to beat Soonwoo Kwon 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (3-7) 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 6-2.

Big-serving American Reilly Opelka also advanced with a 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over Dominik Koepfer of Germany.

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